TCL Technologies has predicted that we'll see a PS5 Pro and new Xbox Series X|S in the next two years, but we're not buying it.
Hosting an official presentation in Poland, electronics manufacturer TCL (credit to PPE (opens in new tab)) showed a slide that predicts that a new Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and PS5 Pro console will arrive by 2023 or 2024.
Dubbing this mid-generation range "Gen 9.5", these consoles will supposedly provide 60-120fps resolution at 4K, and the ability to display 8K at 60-120fps. The console will reportedly utilize AMD Radeon RX 7700 XT technology.
TCL is just guessing. Nothing to see here. https://t.co/cCv77d8KnzMay 25, 2022
Both PS5 and Xbox Series X advertise 8K support, but that feature is currently locked. We've seen one 8K 60fps game on PS5 so far, The Touryst, which is currently restricted to 4K. However, indie games won't be nearly as intensive as, say, Horizon Forbidden West game. Not many console games currently offer 4K and 60fps performance, it's usually one or the other, so even 8K 60fps seems extremely ambitious.
So, these estimates from TCL are most likely a guess based on previous mid-gen upgrades, which both added 4K support. Sony released its PS4 Pro in 2016, three years after the original PS4 was launched. As for Microsoft, the Xbox One X arrived four years after the Xbox One, so you can see why TCL would think this timeframe is likely.
It's too soon for a refresh
Even if we're following previous release patterns, it feels too soon for a mid-generation upgrade, largely because of stock issues. We've seen Xbox Series X consoles become more readily available in the last few months, same for Xbox Series S. However, nearly two years after launching, PS5 stock still sells out within minutes.
It's a problem all major manufacturers have acknowledged, which comes down to the global semiconductor shortage. Making matters worse, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger has previously warned this could drift into 2024. While companies like TMSC are opening new plants to tackle this shortage, it'll take time for console stock levels to stabilize.
We'd speculate Sony and Microsoft are likely looking into successors already – work tends to begin once the previous console has been released. But, with people already struggling to get the existing PS5 and Xbox Series consoles, pouring stretched resources into a new variant doesn't feel right.